Protecting your business (and your personal assets) is important. We represent entrepreneurs, small business owners, and established companies in all matters pertaining to choice of entity, entity formation and management, and contract negotiations and disputes.
As a business owner, taking the appropriate legal steps to protect your company’s assets and limit your personal liability is of utmost importance. If you are ready to hit the ground running, setting up a secure legal structure and preparing protective contracts does not have to slow you down. At St. Louis Morris, P.A., we can help you make smart decisions and efficiently address your legal needs in order to help you grow your business without unnecessary risk exposure.
Business Entity Formation
When starting a business in Florida, one of the first – and most important – steps is to select and properly form a new business entity. When it comes to choice of entity, there are a variety of considerations, and the decision you make now could have implications for years to come. Some of the key considerations when deciding on the legal structure for your new business include:
- Tax implications
- Limitation of liability
- Ownership and management rights
- Raising capital and transfer of shares
- Ongoing costs and formalities
Considering these and a variety of other factors, we can help you choose and form an entity that makes sense for your unique business goals and needs. Depending on your individual circumstances, we may recommend:
- Sole proprietorship
- General partnership
- Limited partnership
- Limited liability partnership (LLP)
- Limited liability limited partnership (LLLP)
- Limited liability company (LLC)
- S Corporation
- C Corporation
- Professional association (PA)
Legally establishing a new business entity involves submitted the appropriate documentation and filing fee to the Florida Division of Corporations. However, in order to form your new company properly, you will need an operating agreement, shareholder agreement, or partnership agreement; bylaws; share certificates; meeting minutes; and a number of other documents as well. These documents should be custom-tailored to your business, and should be carefully drafted to minimize the owners’ exposure to personal liability. We can help complete all of the steps involved in forming a new business and make sure that you have the documentation necessary to run your business with confidence.
Contract Drafting, Review, and Negotiation
For all types of businesses, making effective use of contracts is critical as well. At St. Louis Morris, P.A., we provide experienced representation for contract drafting, review, and negotiation. Whether you need a new form customer or employment agreement, or you received an agreement from a bank or vendor and need legal advice regarding its terms, we can make sure that you are not taking on unnecessary risk by signing on the dotted line. We are available to assist with contracts such as:
- Non-compete agreements
- Employment agreements
- Financing and loan contracts
- Customer contracts
- Vendor contracts
- Commercial leases
When drafting and negotiating contracts, we focus on using straightforward language that clearly outlines each party’s expectations and duties in order to reduce uncertainty and avoid unnecessary disputes down the road.
We also represent business owners in contract disputes. From delinquent payment issues to disagreements regarding scope and liability, we take a results-oriented approach to contract disputes that (when possible) focuses on negotiating a favorable outcome rather than resorting directly to contentious litigation. Our goal is to help you stay focused on your business priorities while minimizing the disruptions and costs arising out of the dispute as much as possible.
Checklist: Starting a New Business in South Florida
When starting any type of new business, there are a number of important steps involved. The following checklist can be used as a general guide, but is not a substitute for seeking experienced legal representation tailored to your unique circumstances.
- Chosen a legal entity structure?
- Formed your entity with the Florida Division of Corporations?
- Prepared the other necessary legal documentation (such as a shareholder agreement, bylaws, and minutes)?
- Considered your options for securing funding?
- Established a business bank account?
- Acquired new assets or transferred assets into your business in order to avoid using personal assets for business purposes?
- Prepared contracts to use with your customers and suppliers?
- Had an attorney review and negotiate your lease?
- Assessed your business’s insurance needs?
- Obtained all necessary business licenses?
Discuss Your Business’s Legal Needs with Experienced Attorneys
If you are starting a new business in South Florida, we encourage you to contact us for a comprehensive consultation about your legal needs. To speak with one of our experienced attorneys, call 954-239-2175 or request a consultation online today.